Science Spectacular 2015

Laneway Learning’s Science Spectacular was in August 2015. Part of National Science Week, it was a day of discovery, experiments and learning.

You can watch a video of the day, look at photos and read up on the classes, stalls and experiments over on our blog post about the Science Spectacular. And if you have your own footage from the day, share it with us on our Facebook page, tag us on Twitter or post it to Instagram.

You don’t need a degree to appreciate or understand science: all you need is curiosity and a willingness to go out and look at the universe. We have scientists and other knowledgeable people lined up to show you how fun science can be. Why are chillies hot? Why don’t you fall off a bicycle when it’s moving? What would it be like to visit space? All these questions and more were answered at the Science Spectacular to ignite your imagination.

Classes were $14, but everything else was totally free, so you could just pop by and explore at your own pace.

Where and When

  • Where: Captain Melville, Franklin St in the CBD.
  • When: 11am-5pm, Sunday, August 23rd
  • Cost: Classes $14, everything else is free!
  • Join the event on Facebook to keep up with developments.


We ran eight great classes, just like what you’d find at our regular weeknights. Covering a variety of types of science, you’re guaranteed to learn something new and interesting about the universe.


Build Your Own Time Machine

What's it all about? Is time travel possible? No one can agree, not even Einstein and Hawking. Your opinion's as good as Doc Brown's­—so come along and tell us what you think. What will we cover? We'll go through the physics of time travel and the arguments for and against, all while attempting to build…


How to Become an Astronaut

What's it all about? What does it take to get into space and then live there? Find out from an Australian astronaut candidate. What will we cover? Astronauts undergo years of training, a gruelling and stressful launch into space, and then weeks in a totally alien environment. Come along to learn about the different pathways to…


How To Build a Galaxy

What's it all about? Galaxies are huge. They have a diameters hundreds of thousands of light years across and reside at such large distances that are even our closest neighbours are millions of light years away. Defined by their vast quantities of stars, gas, dust and dark matter entangled in a constant cycle of creation…


Release Your Inner Botanist

What's it all about? Have you ever wandered through the bush and wondered what the plants were surrounding you? Which of the approximately 1000 local native plants could it be? Or was it a weed? Do botanists "just know it" or do they have a few handy tricks up their sleeves? Whether you are already…


The Science of Happiness

What's it all about? This class explores the science and practice of wellbeing or enduring happiness. Humans are built for survival - and we do it really well - but what we sometimes struggle with is flourishing or really thriving in modern life. Wellbeing science (e. g. positive psychology) is helping us to understand why…


We also had stalls allowing you to chat to people about cool fields of science and technology. To whet your appetite, here is a selection of just some of what was there:

Jen Mcinnes from Hells Breath will have a bunch of chillies of various levels of “danger” for you to test your mettle. Discover what causes the hotness, and what is the chilliest chilli in the world.

Wallace Wong from the University of Melbourne will be demonstrating solar technology, including flexible solar cells and other incredible cutting edge discoveries.

Munir Vahanvati from Giant Grass Design will have examples of patterns and mathematics in nature, and how these principles can be used in modern structural design.

Nicole Cliff, entomologist with the Dept. of Agriculture, will be bringing along a wide variety of interesting insects and creepy crawlies including moths, spiders, butterflies and more!

Peter Lake will be linking up to a telescope on a different continent via the Internet, and using it to take photos of asteroids. You’ll be helping real scientists do their research!

Dana Kabaila, speech pathologist, will tell you all about how the human voice works, its anatomy, and how we make all the sounds we use in different languages.

Jarrod Anderson from Animal Logic will be demonstrating some of the behind-the-scenes magic involved in animated films. See the amazing tech which makes your favourite movies.

Scott Phillips from The Robots are Coming will be bringing his 3D printers: see what can be made right before your eyes, and discuss the myriad applications.

We’ll have a professional microscope on on loan from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, allowing us to look at some interesting biological specimens.

Tara Crowley will explain how your body uses proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins on a microscopic level.


When you get right down to it, science is all about experimenting, so we’ve set up a space devoted to just that. Aaron, Steph and Tessa were there helping you engage in fun chemistry experiments, and explaining how they work.


Up for some short introductions to interesting ideas? We had an outside marquee with demonstrations all day.

There was quantum physics, mouse taxidermy, gyroscopes and more!

Big Thanks!

This Inspiring Australia Initiative was supported by the Australian Government as part of National Science Week. We also wish to thank Captain Melville for opening up their venue to us for the whole day. Finally, thanks to Carlos Patino and for the illustrations for the Science Spectacular logo.

We want to acknowledge the following people for the use of their photos: